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Report - - USAF/RAF Bentwaters, Woodbridge, Jan 2019 & Feb 2020 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - USAF/RAF Bentwaters, Woodbridge, Jan 2019 & Feb 2020


KPUrban_

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Intro
Initially I was planning on doing a full report from Late 2018 to Feb 2020 but due to my own failings I have lost nearly all of my original photos apart from a few which means I will have to exclude about 2 buildings from this report. But thankfully I still have the planes. So not all hope is lost.
The initial find of this site was from around summertime of 2018 and after some planning we eventually got around to visiting and then returned later in 2019 and again in 2020 when I eventually gave into the urge to revisit a structure we missed onsite. Also, the photo quality is far from perfect as I had to salvage a lot of images from file buried deep within my hard drive. Anyway, enough excuses.

History
Constructed in 1942 as an RAF Bomber station called RAF Butley later in 1943 the airfield would take the name of two cottages located onsite to become known as RAF Bentwaters. The airfield eventually opened in 1944 under the command of No 11 Group RAF fighter command. Since this was still the second world war several other RAF squadrons were housed here including No 64, 65, 118, 126, 129, 165, 234, 245 and 226 Operation Conversion Unit who all later later left the base excluding 234, 226 and 245 in 1945 once the war had ended. After this the base became home to USAF forces, with the base being known as AAF Station 151, in 1951 with multiple squadrons using the base as a home. The base was used by the USAF until around 1993 after the cold war was over being handed back to the MoD.

The site sat vacant before being sold off as Bentwaters parks like most other Ex-RAF bases in the UK. Since then buildings previously used by the military have become storage units, filming locations or simply left to the elements as well as new structures being built mostly as extensions to pre-existing buildings.

The Visits
Our initial visit here was unplanned and spontaneous. We walked from the train station and about an hour later we had turned up and for some reason decided to take an over complicated entry then proceeded to wander about for about a few hours until we got caught....
Shortly after new years we went back for a few photos of the planes and a rather overgrown building which caught our interest, grabbed some photos and went home.
Earlier this year I was bored and thought why not pay a third visit for a building that had evaded us on the previous visits. We drove on and due to our poor timing we ran out of daylight shortly after but we got what we came to see.

"The star-wars building"
we only ever managed this building on the first visit and as mentioned I lost all but one photo from inside.
The building itself is one of a kind, a concrete structure with a blast wall presumably built in the late 80's. The purpose is said to have been used for training aircrews of the USAF as well as planning.
As said, I only have one existing image from my visit which is of the medical suite.

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Moving on.

Commander Operation's Building

This is one of several office styled buildings onsite with the boring drop down ceilings and square rooms. With a slight difference being the heavy decay.
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The Aircraft.
There are numerous aircraft dotted around site, presumably for restoration. I will admit this will make up the bulk of the report.

From what I could find this appears to be a Hawker Seahawk presumably last used by the Royal Navy.
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A Lynx helicopter next to a Hawker Siddley "Jump Jet" both a in a state of disrepair.
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Aother shot from next to the Seahawk with a Phantom in the distance.
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That Siddley Harrier we saw earlier, from behind.
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Under the landing gear of several planes.

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A gutted FGR2 Phantom up on stands.
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"The Hush House" Exhaust tunnel and testing hangar.

This was the final visit to the site. Used for a lot of filming nowadays the building was a hangar with a large insulated exhaust tunnel used for testing aircraft.

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And with that, that's all I have really. One day I might go back a re-document all of this but hopefully it gives a good insight into the past and present of some buildings here.​
 

KPUrban_

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Gutted they were filming inside the hush hush building when I went. Definitely one of the highlights of that place
They were filming the first two time I went if I remember correctly. I did manage to find a Colin Furze video which was filmed in here weirdly enough.
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
I have some photos from 1980 that show the ammunition storage in use, and the dorms somewhere, I will try and dig them out. Also got some externals of the hangers & gate house somewhere.

Shame & gutting re the filming, though not a great Stars Wars fan, my hubby is. Would have loved to see that.
 

KPUrban_

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I have some photos from 1980 that show the ammunition storage in use, and the dorms somewhere, I will try and dig them out. Also got some externals of the hangers & gate house somewhere.

Shame & gutting re the filming, though not a great Stars Wars fan, my hubby is. Would have loved to see that.
The Star Wars building is just a nick name given to it due to the external look. I have no idea what the official name was nor could I find anything. Would be interesting to see photos from the time it was in use.
 

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
The Star Wars building is just a nick name given to it due to the external look. I have no idea what the official name was nor could I find anything. Would be interesting to see photos from the time it was in use.
Strangely its marked on google as that!
 

scotty markfour

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
what an epic report n pics , reminds me of my more youthful days riding bicycles around aircraft bases as everywhere was too far to walk. at the old burtonwood base in cheshire we rode around underground storage tunnels containing vehicles , armaments n various other stores !.....none of which was sent back to the states , they just built a housing estate and an asda on top of it !...lol
 

KPUrban_

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member

Kally

28DL Member
28DL Member
Great pictures. I've been here with permission a couple of times, it's a fascinating place to look around, but I've never managed to see much on my individual trips. Hopefully I'll get the chance to go back at some point.

The Hush House has always been locked up when I've been there, I did once venture up the catwalk that leads into the back of the 'tunnel', but it was pitch black and I was only armed with a crappy 1980s military L-torch that didn't really make much of a dent in the darkness so I turned back.
 

KPUrban_

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Excellent photo's. I would love to go sometime. Just one correction, the aircraft you refer to as a SeaHawk is actually a Hawker Hunter and RAF not RN.
Thank you, I'm not the best when I comes to these types of smaller aircraft I'll see if I can edit the report to be corrected.
 

lonewolf_534

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Ah, its OK mate, who's to know, I see a Jaguar T2 in there too, i do like my planes.....can you arrange visits to this place?
 

KPUrban_

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Ah, its OK mate, who's to know, I see a Jaguar T2 in there too, i do like my planes.....can you arrange visits to this place?
I just drove on. I presume you can but not much fun that way.
 

KurtMeyer

28DL Member
28DL Member
I just drove on. I presume you can but not much fun that way.
You cant drive on as its a private property and is patrolled by security. I know this as I work there! Don't be too surprised to see the local Plod there either as they regularly visit the site.
 

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